If such be indeed the case, perhaps the noblest of all primitive races may yet be saved from what at one time seemed inevitable extinction; and the Maori, the Samoans, and Tahitians may, like the Hawaiians, take their place beside the Europeans as free citizens of the various states of which they are now subjects.
The view which has received most general acceptance is that they represent a branch of the Caucasic division of mankind who migrated at a remote period possibly in Neolithic times from the Asiatic mainland travelling by way of the Malay Archipelago and gradually colonizing the eastern Pacific. The Polynesians, who, as represented by such groups as the Samoans and Marquesas islanders, are the physical equal of Europeans, are of a light brown colour, tall, well-proportioned, with regular and often beautiful features.
The natives are keen traders, and though uncouth in manners when compared with their nearest neighbours, the Tongans and Samoans, are friendly to Europeans.
His body was carried next day by sixty sturdy Samoans, who acknowledged Stevenson as their chief, to the summit of the precipitous peak of Vaea, where he had wished to be buried, and where they left him to rest for ever with the Pacific Ocean at his feet.
- The Samoans are pure Polynesians, and according to the traditions of many Polynesian peoples Savaii was the centre of dispersion of the race over the Pacific Ocean from Hawaii to New Zealand.